Sunday, July 31, 2011

Interview: Brandon Quinn — Keeping It in the Family

Brandon Quinn has played everything from gigolo Spencer Bullitt on “The O.C.” to an eye-candy boyfriend on “Entourage” and even a teen wolf on “Big Wolf on Campus” (way before it was all the rage to be a were/shapeshifter). Now Brandon is playing a role he’s always wanted to play, that of a cop, on the Lifetime Television new original series “Against the Wall,” which premieres tonight, July 31, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Brandon told me all about his new show, and how excited he is to be a part of something of this caliber.

Celebrity Extra: Were you as surprised as I was to see that this new show, a police procedural, was for Lifetime Television, as opposed to TNT or FX or another cable network along those lines?

Brandon Quinn: Oh my gosh, big time. The folks at Lifetime are in a position now where they are really trying to re-identify themselves, and this show is definitely unlike anything else they have right now. I really feel like it’s going to put them on the map. I’m really proud of this show. I would stack our show up against any other show in its category on network television right now. Lifetime could potentially have a really big hit on their hands if all goes well. It’s hard to say what people are going to respond to, but I just can’t imagine viewers not responding to the show.



CE: Tell me about the show, and your role of Richie Kowalski.

BQ: It’s a family drama first. It is a police procedural, but it’s a family drama about a family of three generations of Chicago police officers. Dad is a patrol cop, along with my older brother, middle brother, myself and then the youngest sibling, Abby —the only girl in the family — who was a patrol cop and decides to join Internal Affairs. Which if you know anything about cops, it’s cops on one side, Internal Affairs on the other side. They investigate the cops that are considered the traitors. So, it creates a huge upheaval in the family.

I play Richie Kowalski, the youngest of the three brothers. Richie’s a really good guy. He’s got a good sense of humor. He’s an excellent cop. He has a lot of integrity. He takes his job really seriously. Richie and Abby have an extremely close relationship. We have the closest relationship of all the siblings, she and I. I’m her shoulder to cry on, her confidant. I don’t judge her for the decision she made to join Internal Affairs.

CE: How excited were you to play Richie when you first got the script for the pilot?

BQ: I’ve always wanted to play a cop. What kid at some point in his life isn’t obsessed with cops and robbers, if just for a day? For the longest time I actually really wanted to be a cop when I was younger. So, right away I was like, “Awesome. I’ve always wanted to play a cop.” Then once I read the script, I loved the character of Richie. He’s this blue-collar, down-to-earth guy’s guy. He’s a family man. He’s really close with his wife. He’s a really good friend, and he loves football — and these are all traits that I possess. I come from a blue-collar middle-class family that shaped who I am as a person. It’s easy to be Richie, because it isn’t a stretch. I just opened myself up, and the rest was on the paper.

CE: This show has such a great cast — what are they all like to work with?

BQ: It’s such a dream job — you couldn’t ask for a better group of people. From Rachael Carpani all the way down to the guest actors, they’ve all been tremendous, and it’s literally one of those jobs where I keep pinching myself. Content of the show aside, it’s all about the people you go to work with every day who help inspire you. It starts with Kathy Baker and Treat Williams, who are two veterans who have been doing this for years. They really set the tone, and they are both so down-to-earth and great. Kathy is so motherly and a very approachable, sweet woman.

And Treat, he really wants to give us our time in the spotlight. He’s like: “I’ve had my time. This is your guys’ time.” And Rachael is absolutely phenomenal. The show wouldn’t be nearly as great if we didn’t have the cast we did, and we all get along so well. Honestly, there’s not a diva in the bunch.

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